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Old 04-02-2013, 11:34 PM   #46
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Originally Posted by cleftstone View Post
gingertea, i hear you about the splint but i cant wait to get this ##@**^ cast off. i called the surgeon's assistant and asked if the doctor would consider changing to a splint a few days early because i think my incision might still be infected, and i have burning pain at the site that is 8 on a scale of 10 starting every afternoon. so hopefully she will call me back tomorrow and i will cope with whatver the decision is. my impression of the surgeon is that he is not flexible about his protocol, but we'll see. mini-pads are a great idea, thanks.
greengal, your dilemma is real and your concerns are valid. you have a few more weeks to decide, and you could reschedule your surgery until crohn's is better, people do it all the time, but will insurance still cover it if postponed?
linda
Hi Linda,
Burning pain at the site of the incision can be 2 reasons.
1. Infection.
2. cast too tight, rubs on incision.
If your cast is too tight, your fingers turn blue. When you hold your hand/arm down, the pain should be unbearable.
Mornings are usually better than afternoons as you have had your night's rest with your arm raised.
Let us know please what your doctor's reply is.
You should, however, not be having the pain you are having.
Good luck.
Haydena.

 
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:51 PM   #47
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
Haydena, Good to hear from you! Do you feel this surgery was easier than the first? I remember feeling it wasn't so bad the second time around...I don't know if that was because I was better prepared, or because my dominant hand was stronger to begin with.

Ladies, when you get your removable brace, it might be uncomfortable at first because of the rubbing on the surgical scar. It stays tender for quite a while. I found the best padding was mini-pads! You could stick 2 or 3 together, load it with arnica or whatever cream you choose and lay it over the scar. It helped the rubbing and it was soothing too.

Greengal, we are in the same area....are you going to Oly Ortho? I went to Washington Ortho in Centralia because they could do both CMC & carpal tunnel at the same time. Oly wanted to do 4 different surgeries. I hear Oly Ortho has beautiful new facilities. I see the building when I go to Capital Medical. Fancy! Good luck with your surgery!

 
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:31 AM   #48
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Originally Posted by Greengal04 View Post
I've been going to Puget sound orthopedics in Lakewood and Tacoma. At the time my hand issues started 2 years ago there was no hand doctor in Olympia so I had to go to Lakewood. This surgery will be my 3rd hand surgery. And I'm worried as heck about it!
I read you other post about wanting to back out. Please dont! Im happy I had mine done and I'm feeling REMARKABLY better today, only 14 days post-op!!! i have started hanging my hand down a bit, i am using my fingers (gently) and didnt even take a pain pill last night and got plenty of rest. If you have to take care of some other health issues first, then postponing might be a good option. I just wanted to let you know how well I was doing in hopes you would feel a bit more positive about the surgery.

so far I'm really really happy i did it.

 
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #49
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Happy to report that doctor allowed me out of cast today, 5 days early.
Splint is much better, and keeps thumb and wrist immobile. I agreed not to remove it or try to move thumb until my first OT visit next week. Looks good--no infection (what a relief), very little swelling, no bruising. The doctor said patients who do not elevate are much worse off, with swelling and unable to move their fingers. The top of my hand and arm are not covered by the splint so I plan to continue with the ice, yippee.
Mschloe, glad to hear you sre doing so well!
Linda

 
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #50
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Cleftstone....so glad to hear the doctor let you out of the cast, and there is no sign of infection. There were times I'd lay my casted arm on a flat surface and lean my whole body weight on it so I could at least get some of the tightness off the surgical scar. I remember the burning sensation of the surgery site continuing for several weeks. It was one reason I came up with the mini-pad/traumeel padding. Also, when the doctor allows it, you can work on desenthisizing the area. I just used a terry cloth and rubbed the surgical area several times a day. I was told the burning sensation was from a little ball of nerves they have to cut through during surgery.

Mchsloe....I can't believe you are at work already. It would take me all morning just to shower, get dressed and presentable when I didn't have help
after the first few days. You are amazing! Besides, I wasn't allowed to drive until the hard cast came off and I was used to the removable brace. That also meant I couldn't start with the PT until then. I guess I had no reason to get up and hurry myself.

Greengal...I don't envy you having Crohn's. I hope you can keep it in check while you are laid up. Personal cleanliness was one of the biggest obstacles for me when I had my dominant hand done. I should have practiced using my other hand before surgery. I think it's okay to be a bit apprehensive. I wasn't worried at all before my first surgery, and was totally unprepared for everything! I did worry some about the second surgery because I knew what to expect. I'm keeping good thoughts for you!
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:13 PM   #51
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Got my green cast today! Doc was super impressed with how well I'm healing. I only need my hard cast for 2 weeks!!!! Unfortunately that two weeks is right begorecthecweekend and I have too busy of a schedule. Therefore it will end up being "almost" 3 before I get it off. My hand looked great! I got extracts and everythingbsblined up perfectly! My hand looks like it sinks in just a bit, but I think it's because the positioning and the swelling in my thumb. I really only have swelling in the thumb and a wee bit in fingers. That's it. My scar looks a lot different of what I've seen online. I have two actually. One that runs from the base of my thumb to my wrist area. Pretty straight down. And another small one under my wrist from where he took the ligament piece. I wish I could upload the pic I took . I actually had an x-ray, then sat there about 15 minutes before the cast was put on. It was 15 minutes of heaven. I lotioned up, itched and had a chance to test it out a bit. Doc moved my thumb around quite a bit and i didn't have pain. The cast is quite snug, with little breathing/itching room, but quite comfy. He put lots of padding underneath.

 
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:16 AM   #52
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
Cleftstone....so glad to hear the doctor let you out of the cast, and there is no sign of infection. There were times I'd lay my casted arm on a flat surface and lean my whole body weight on it so I could at least get some of the tightness off the surgical scar. I remember the burning sensation of the surgery site continuing for several weeks. It was one reason I came up with the mini-pad/traumeel padding. Also, when the doctor allows it, you can work on desenthisizing the area. I just used a terry cloth and rubbed the surgical area several times a day. I was told the burning sensation was from a little ball of nerves they have to cut through during surgery.

Mchsloe....I can't believe you are at work already. It would take me all morning just to shower, get dressed and presentable when I didn't have help
after the first few days. You are amazing! Besides, I wasn't allowed to drive until the hard cast came off and I was used to the removable brace. That also meant I couldn't start with the PT until then. I guess I had no reason to get up and hurry myself.

Greengal...I don't envy you having Crohn's. I hope you can keep it in check while you are laid up. Personal cleanliness was one of the biggest obstacles for me when I had my dominant hand done. I should have practiced using my other hand before surgery. I think it's okay to be a bit apprehensive. I wasn't worried at all before my first surgery, and was totally unprepared for everything! I did worry some about the second surgery because I knew what to expect. I'm keeping good thoughts for you!
Hi Ginger,

Both my surgeries were the same. I am 2 months post surgery today-right hand & as you can see I am typing with both hands, here. I am using my right hand for almost everything. I can only lift heavy stuff with my 4 fingers, not using my thumb as I dont want to traumatize it. I can move the tip more & more each day. I can rotate my wrist well & touch my pinkie!!! I shower without a shower sleeve. I do cover the scar with an adhesive pad, which is large enough to protect my scar, as it is still sensitive. The skin on the thumb,hand & wrist must not dry out after showering & after all casting has been removed.


Btw, I was the first person here to recommend using traumeel for bruising & swelling. When I had my surgery on my left hand 2 years ago, I told the ladies here about the benefits of using traumeel. Some ladies had problems finding it in drug stores so they purchased it online.

The traumeel should be rubbed well into the skin to allow it to absorb before covering it with gauze pads. I have gone through 5 medium sized tubes already.

I am very pleased I had this surgery on both my hands. I would recommend this surgery to others. The healing process is not as hard as some say it is,if the surgery was a success & if one rests & elevates the arm for at least 2-3 weeks, uses ice-packs, traumeel & drinks alot of water to flush out the toxins in the body.

All the best to you, Ginger.
Haydena.

 
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:24 AM   #53
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschloe View Post
Got my green cast today! Doc was super impressed with how well I'm healing. I only need my hard cast for 2 weeks!!!! Unfortunately that two weeks is right begorecthecweekend and I have too busy of a schedule. Therefore it will end up being "almost" 3 before I get it off. My hand looked great! I got extracts and everythingbsblined up perfectly! My hand looks like it sinks in just a bit, but I think it's because the positioning and the swelling in my thumb. I really only have swelling in the thumb and a wee bit in fingers. That's it. My scar looks a lot different of what I've seen online. I have two actually. One that runs from the base of my thumb to my wrist area. Pretty straight down. And another small one under my wrist from where he took the ligament piece. I wish I could upload the pic I took . I actually had an x-ray, then sat there about 15 minutes before the cast was put on. It was 15 minutes of heaven. I lotioned up, itched and had a chance to test it out a bit. Doc moved my thumb around quite a bit and i didn't have pain. The cast is quite snug, with little breathing/itching room, but quite comfy. He put lots of padding underneath.
Way to go mschloe!

Wonderful to read that your hand looks great.I am very pleased for you. The swelling you have will go down.

When you feel itchy in your cast, try using a hairdryer on cold, aim it down into your cast, careful not to touch your skin. Or for a quick relief, stick your entire arm, if you can, into the freezer! You can also place 1 large ice pack under your cast & 1 on top, if it does'nt weigh too heavy on your scar.

Good to know your doctor put padding under your cast, that does help!

I wish you happy healing & a good recovery.

Haydena.

 
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:22 PM   #54
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Originally Posted by Greengal04 View Post
Thank you for that advice. I am sure if I go through with the surgery I will be wiggling into my bras as well lol.

I have been having a rough time with my Crohn's disease lately and has got me even more parnoid about going through with this surgery. The advice the wonderful ladies on here has offered is what helped me decide to do it at first, and as of today the surgery is still scheduled for the end of the month. But OMG, my Crohn's has been terrible lately and I just wonder if I can handle that and surgery rehab at the same time. There are days I think I am strong, and there are days I am not. But the truth is my Crohn's will always be there, it isn't going away, and if I put off the surgery until the Crohn's is better I may never get it. And my hand becomes more unstable every day. I just wish this was easier.
Hi Greengal,

Start thinking past the surgery to when you will be back to using a pain-free hand. Look forward to your PT and a stronger hand, to using it again to do the things you love. I spent the last week in Florida visiting with my mother and sister and packing up my mother's things since she went into a nursing home before Christmas. My hand did everything I needed, including many hours of correcting exams. Your hand will heal and you will have one less physical stress to deal with.

I never wore special clothing- I could zip up pants from the beginning and put on a bra after a few days as well (tuck one end between your elbow and stomach and stretch the heck out of the other side at waist level in the front). I bought elastic shoe laces and put them in the day before surgery and they worked great. I did have to purchase a different winter jacket to accommodate my cast, but I just bought one at a resale shop for a few dollars rather than getting another nice coat I didn't need.

Hang in there.

Margarita

 
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #55
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschloe View Post
Got my green cast today! Doc was super impressed with how well I'm healing. I only need my hard cast for 2 weeks!!!! Unfortunately that two weeks is right begorecthecweekend and I have too busy of a schedule. Therefore it will end up being "almost" 3 before I get it off. My hand looked great! I got extracts and everythingbsblined up perfectly! My hand looks like it sinks in just a bit, but I think it's because the positioning and the swelling in my thumb. I really only have swelling in the thumb and a wee bit in fingers. That's it. My scar looks a lot different of what I've seen online. I have two actually. One that runs from the base of my thumb to my wrist area. Pretty straight down. And another small one under my wrist from where he took the ligament piece. I wish I could upload the pic I took . I actually had an x-ray, then sat there about 15 minutes before the cast was put on. It was 15 minutes of heaven. I lotioned up, itched and had a chance to test it out a bit. Doc moved my thumb around quite a bit and i didn't have pain. The cast is quite snug, with little breathing/itching room, but quite comfy. He put lots of padding underneath.
Its great to hear you are doing so well. Your hand may look different because of the position being a little bit off, but it is also probably due to loosing muscle from being immobile. My thumb looked kind of caved in on the palm side, but now with strengthening exercises and stretching it is almost back to a match with the other one. I have the little straight scar as well and the small incision on my forearm about 7 inches down from my wrist. I agree- that lotion was heaven!

At this point you should be moving the top joint of your thumb as much as you can to avoid having it stiffen. My cast was too high on my thumb to get proper motion, so I checked with the surgeon's office and they okayed my filing it down a bit. I just used a nail file and worked on it bit by bit-a little messy but worth it. I also took off a bit by the knuckle of my index finger because I have arthritis there and the pressure got painful after a few days.

You will find that after a few days when more swelling is down you will have a little wiggle room in your cast. If you drape a thin piece of cloth(I used a men's handkerchief and remember to hold the ends) over a drinking straw and put lotion on it you can itch and lotion your palm inside the cast.

Good healing!

Margarita

 
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:59 PM   #56
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Originally Posted by margarita889 View Post
Its great to hear you are doing so well. Your hand may look different because of the position being a little bit off, but it is also probably due to loosing muscle from being immobile. My thumb looked kind of caved in on the palm side, but now with strengthening exercises and stretching it is almost back to a match with the other one. I have the little straight scar as well and the small incision on my forearm about 7 inches down from my wrist. I agree- that lotion was heaven!

At this point you should be moving the top joint of your thumb as much as you can to avoid having it stiffen. My cast was too high on my thumb to get proper motion, so I checked with the surgeon's office and they okayed my filing it down a bit. I just used a nail file and worked on it bit by bit-a little messy but worth it. I also took off a bit by the knuckle of my index finger because I have arthritis there and the pressure got painful after a few days.

You will find that after a few days when more swelling is down you will have a little wiggle room in your cast. If you drape a thin piece of cloth(I used a men's handkerchief and remember to hold the ends) over a drinking straw and put lotion on it you can itch and lotion your palm inside the cast.

Good healing!

Margarita
Hi Linda,

Good to know you managed so well in Florida & correcting those test papers we talked about on another thread!

Brilliant idea about the drinking straw!

This afternoon/evening my scar started burning! I had a busy day doing all kinds of physical stuff & I do admit I over-used my hand (I am 2 months post surgery/right hand)
I grabbed the Traumeel & rubbed loads all over my thumb, scar & wrist.
I decided to place the piece of soft material you get when you have perscription glasses made up at the optician, over my scar!!!! then very lightly wrap a cotton bandage around this material. (sorry I dont know the proper name of that piece of material) To my delight the burning sensation stopped. My scar is not infected & healing is progressing well, so is my physio. I can touch my pinkie!! rotate my wrist. I can bend my thumb, but not all the way, yet. Better days are yet to come!! (I am not in a panic)

When are you off to Porta Rico?

Have a great Sunday & take good care.
Haydena

 
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:32 AM   #57
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Haydena,

when did you actually stop swelling every day?

I am 4 weeks post-op and STILL have swelling issues. Shouldnt I be passed this by now?

 
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:27 AM   #58
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Hello MsChloe,

I know I am not the person you were wanting a response from, but I am glad to see your post as I was curious how you were doing.

You and I are so similar. We are about the same age, had similar past hand surgeries prior to this, and like you, I plan to return to work after a few weeks. So, if you are up to it, I am hoping you won't mind answering a few questions for me. My surgery is next week, and as I think you did, as the day gets closer I grow more anxious about it lol!

Other than the swelling issue, are you coming along ok? How is your pain now? Are you able to manage it at this point without using the heavy duty drugs? I can't afford to take more than a few weeks off work, have you found returning to work with your cast on and some continuing healing issues doable? Have you driven yourself yet? I don't really have someone to drive me around and to work, so I am hoping that even with a cast on I can drive myself after a few weeks. Lastly, are you still glad you did this? Do you have any regrets about it?

Thanks again. I know that's a lot of questions, but it would help me anxiety a lot to hear from someone like me about it. I do appreciate it!

 
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:40 AM   #59
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Originally Posted by Greengal04 View Post
Hello MsChloe,

I know I am not the person you were wanting a response from, but I am glad to see your post as I was curious how you were doing.

You and I are so similar. We are about the same age, had similar past hand surgeries prior to this, and like you, I plan to return to work after a few weeks. So, if you are up to it, I am hoping you won't mind answering a few questions for me. My surgery is next week, and as I think you did, as the day gets closer I grow more anxious about it lol!

Other than the swelling issue, are you coming along ok? How is your pain now? Are you able to manage it at this point without using the heavy duty drugs? I can't afford to take more than a few weeks off work, have you found returning to work with your cast on and some continuing healing issues doable? Have you driven yourself yet? I don't really have someone to drive me around and to work, so I am hoping that even with a cast on I can drive myself after a few weeks. Lastly, are you still glad you did this? Do you have any regrets about it?

Thanks again. I know that's a lot of questions, but it would help me anxiety a lot to hear from someone like me about it. I do appreciate it!

Hey Greengal! sorry it took me so long to respond. I have been super busy. I am still glad I did the surgery. I am still getting a bit of swelling in my fingers, but there isnt anymore pain. I am using my hand all the time. I still keep it elevated or it will swell. i feel like the swelling is taking FOREVER to go away. It really is just minor at this point. I was driving after 2 weeks. I could have driven earlier, probably after 1 week, but being on pain pills I didnt feel comfortable. I stopped the big pain pills right when I got my full cast on. Although once in a while I would take one at night.

I get my cast off tomorrow!!!! YAY!!!

I have been doing just fine at work! I returned 2 weeks after the surgery. I just kept it elevated and kept using ice. completely doable!

 
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:02 AM   #60
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Thumbs up Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Way to go MsChloe!

Its great to hear you are doing so well. Once you are in therapy you will find that you have less swelling because you will be moving your hand a lot more.

Hi to Greengal as well. You will be in my prayers tomorrow as you go through your surgery. I hope we hear from you soon that everything went well and you are on the mend.

Margarita

 
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